Thebeerchasers List of Bars, Taverns and Pubs – the US and Europe

(For a list of all Portland bars reviewed, see the blog post dated 12/26/2015 immediately below this post.)

Those who follow this blog know that Thebeerchaser’s journey, begun in August 2011, was intended to be a tour of Portland bars, taverns and pubs with observations posted on the blog.   Since we had just retired and started traveling with much greater intensity than during working years, the hobby expanded to include watering holes throughout the United State and Europe.  You can probably understand how that might happen!!

Beerchasers-of-the Quarter, John Terry and Jim Westwood in our 2012 visit to the historic Goose Hollow Inn

Beerchasers-of-the Quarter, John Terry and Jim Westwood with former Portland Mayor Bud Clark in our 2012 visit to the historic Goose Hollow Inn

The “dedication” to Portland watering holes has not been compromised during the ensuing four and one-half years as evidenced by the list of 69 Portland establishments listed by sector of the City on Thebeerchaser post dated 12/26/15.  The list of the bars outside Portland through August 2016 – five years since the “journey” commenced – is at the bottom of this post.

Dave, Steve and animals at the Central Pastime in Burns

Dave, Steve and animals at the Central Pastime in Burns

A 2013 trip to Central and Eastern Oregon with my brother-in-law, Dave Booher and his good friend, Steve Larson from Pendleton was so enjoyable that it “compelled” me to expand the geography on the bars visited. For example, stories from the Central Pastime Tavern in Burns and the Long Branch Saloon in LaGrande just had to be told.

When my wife and I visited Europe for the first time in 2013 on a Rick Steves’ Best of Europe tour – six countries in twenty-one hectic but glorious days – our experience at the Devil’s Forest Pub in Venice, the Publican Bar in Beaune France, having a brewski at 9,700 near the summit of Mt. Schilthorn, as well as being chased out of the Beer Station in Paris (the only establishment in 53 months that objected to me taking pictures in their bar) also deserved relating.

Bier at the top of Mt. Schilthorn in Switzerland

Bier near the top of Mt. Schilthorn in Switzerland

Well, you understand the story….the next year, Dave, Steve and I repeated our prior three-day journey to Oregon’s desert country in 2013 with a similar sojourn along the Central Oregon Coast.

Aided by studying the wonderful blog of author and journalist, Matt Love, entitled “Let it Pour – An unconventional drinking guide to the north and central oregon coast” –  a worthy predecessor to my blog – we hit thirteen taverns in three days in Lincoln City, Newport, Depoe Bay and Pacific City.

The legendary "Death Tank" at the Tide Pool Inn in Depoe Bay

The legendary “Tank of Death” at the Tide Pool Pub in Depoe Bay

We tasted the wonderful pizza and marveled at the Tank of Death at Depoe Bay’s Tide Pool Pub “a salt-water glass coffin….. packed with all manner of marine creatures caught by local fishermen who bucket in their curious finds and dump them in.  Eels, crabs, sea bass, perch, Dick Cheney, octipi and urchins all end up in the mix. 

According to the bartender, aquatic creatures regularly stage a battle royal to the death and the tank serves as a Roman arena of savagery and merciless predation  – with bets slapped down and accelerated drinking when the water turns a creamy, cloudy red.”   (Matt Love – “Let it Pour” blog)   P1020662

We heard stories about Paul Newman’s inebriated exploits during the filming of “Sometimes a Great Notion” in Newport, by Steve the friendly bartender in the historic Bay Haven Inn and we reveled in the great bars along the coast.

Tales of Paul Newman while filming Ken Kesey's classic

Tales of Paul Newman while filming Ken Kesey’s classic

Oh yeah, I forgot the “splendor” of one of the West’s great dive bars – the Sportsman Pub and Grub in Pacific City.

Dave and Steve at the Sportsman Pub and Grub in Pacific City

Dave and Steve at the Sportsman Pub and Grub in Pacific City

As I have stated before, I owe much of the “success” of this blog – 17,906 views by 14,179  visitors in 2015, to my wife, Janet’s, (Beerchaser-of-the Year in 2014) willingness to switch from her preferred beverage of wine to beer when we visited breweries.

New Belgium was our favorite in Fort Collins, Colorado.  We raised mugs and talked to wonderful people in bars in Alaska (2014), Colorado (2015) and the Southeast U.S. (2015 – Atlanta, Asheville, Charleston and Savannah).

The New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins

The New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins

 

And the summer of 2015 also included outstanding visits to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks after visiting some great bars and brewpubs in Missoula and Helena, Montana.  The narrative was posted in 2016.

Listening to live music in the bar at Jackson Lake Lodge in the Tetons

Listening to live music in the bar at Jackson Lake Lodge in the Tetons

               

Some great Montana beer!

Some great Montana beer!

                                                             

A bar with Southern charm in Charleston, South Carolina

A bar with Southern charm in Charleston, South Carolina

Janet has one inviolate rule – “No dive bars for her!”  I might add that this is notwithstanding my explanation on the ambiance and hospitable nature of dive bars as asserted by the author of this quote:

“Dive bars can be a wonderful thing — I’m not talking about the type of place where you’re afraid of getting a shiv in the bathroom, but a comfortable, neighborhood establishment where locals go to enjoy each other’s company and a drink or five….It’s like sitting in your own living room – only with a bunch of surly strangers who are on the verge of inebriation.”  

The Ship in Multnomah - one of my favorite dive bars

The Ship in Multnomah – one of my favorite dive bars

Well, the end result appears below in a chronologic listing of bars visited outside Portland – broken down by state or country – a total of ninety-six during the 53 months of Thebeerchaser’s tour.

—————-

Stay tuned for the posting on this Poulsbo, WA. brewery

Stay tuned for the posting on this Poulsbo, WA. brewery

How to Use This List of Bars Outside Portland

The month of the posting (not the date we visited it) for each bar or pub on the list below is in the far right column, so if you want to glean some details or see pictures of a particular bar, just click on the link of the applicable month and year shown in columnar form on the right side of your computer screen and you will see each of the bars reviewed in that particular month.

You may also want to do a search in the box at the top right of the blog header although a number of the bars are mentioned in multiple posts and you might not get the most comprehensive review unless you scroll down a bit.  And if you want to receive an e-mail with a link each time I do a new Beerchaser post, sign up in the small box labeled “Follow” at the lower right hand side of your screen.

 Cheers!

1 2012 Port Townsend, Washington Pour House August
2 2012 Astoria Desdemona September
3 2012 Astoria Wet Monkey Cafe September
4 2012 Joseph Embers Brew Pub October
1 2013 Prineville Solstice Brew Pub November
2 2013 Prineville Horseshoe Tavern November
3 2013 LaGrande Long Branch Saloon November
4 2013 LaGrande Hideout Saloon November
5 2013 LaGrande 10 Depot Bar November
6 2013 Baker City Bull Ridge Brewery Closed in 2014
7 2013 Baker City Mt. Emily Ale House November
8 2013 Burns Central Pastime Tavern November
9 2013 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland Horner Pub and Tavern September
10 2013 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland Mt. Schilthorn Tavern September
11 2013 Arnheim, Austria Bier Brewery July
12 2013 Rothenburg, Germany Hell’s Tavern July
13 2013 Amsterdam, Netherlands Café Karperschoek June
14 2013 Vernazza, Italy Blue Marlin Café September
15 2013 Beaune, France Publican Bar September
16 2013 Rome, Italy Miscellana Café September
17 2013 Venice, Italy Devil’s Forrest Café July
18 2013 Venice, Italy Bacaro Jazz Café July
19 2013 Paris, France Beer Station September
20 2013 Paris, France La Vin Cover Café September
1 2014 Anchorage Darwin’s Theory July
2 2014 Anchorage Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House July
3 2014 Anchorage Pioneer Bar July
4 2014 Anchorage Glacier Brewery July
5 2014 Anchorage Snow Goose Brewery July
6 2014 Haines Haines Brewery July
7 2014 Juneau Red Dog Saloon July
8 2014 Lincoln City Old Oregon Saloon September
9 2014 Lincoln City Rusty Truck Brewery –  Road House 101 October
10 2014 Pacific City Sportsman Pub and Grub October
11 2014 Pacific City Oar House October
12 2014 Pacific City Pelican Pub and Brewery October
13 2014 Lincoln City Snug Harbor Bar and Grill November
14 2014 Lincoln City Nauti Mermaid November
15 2014 Lincoln City Cruise Inn November
16 2014 Depoe Bay Tide Pool Inn November
17 2014 Newport Hoovers November
18 2014 Newport Bay Haven Bar November
19 2014 Newport Mad Dog Country Tavern November
20 2014 Dundee Lumpy’s Landing November
1 2015 Boulder Crystal Springs Brewing February
2 2015 Boulder The Sink February
3 2015 Boulder Avery Brewing February
4 2015 Boulder Gravity Brewing February
5 2015 Boulder Post Brewing February
6 2015 Fort Collins New Belgium Brewery May
7 2015 Breckenridge Gold Pan Saloon May
8 2015 Fort Collins Town Pump May
9 2015 Fort Collins Mayor of Old Town May
10 2015 Colorado Springs Ritz Bar and Grill May
11 2015 Colorado Springs Phantom Canyon Brewing May
12 2015 Breckenridge Angel Hollow Bar May
13 2015 Breckenridge Apres’ Handcrafted Libations May
14 2015 Breckenridge Ollie’s Pub and Grub May
15 2015 Dillon Dillon Dam Brewery May
16 2015 Breckenridge Breckenridge Brewery May
17 2015 Breckenridge Broken Compass Brewery May
18 2015 Atlanta, Georgia Max’s Wine Dive July
19 2015 Atlanta, Georgia Eleventh Street Pub and Bistro July
20 2015 Atlanta, Georgia The Nook on Piedmont Park July
21 2015 Asheville, North Carolina Wicked Weed Brewery July
22 2015 Asheville, North Carolina Lexington Avenue Brewery July
23 2015 Asheville, North Carolina Jack of the Woods Public House July
24 2015 Charleston, South Carolina Blind Tiger Pub September
25 2015 Charleston, South Carolina Charleston Beer Exchange September
26 2015 Charleston, South Carolina The Gin Joint September
27 2015 Charleston, South Carolina South End Brewery and Smokehouse September
28 2015 Savannah, Georgia Pinky’s Master Lounge September
29 2015 Savannah, Georgia The Boar’s Head Grill and Tavern September
30 2015 Savannah, Georgia JJ Bonerz Sports Bar September
31 2015 Savannah,Georgia Moon River Brew Pub September
1 2016 Missoula, Montana Tamarack Brewery February
2 2016 Missoula, Montana Stockman Bar February
3 2016 Missoula, Montana Big Sky Brewing February
4 2016 Missoula, Montana Flathead Lake Brewery February
5 2016 Missoula, Montana Draught Works Brewery February
6 2016 Missoula, Montana Kettle House Brewing February
7 2016 Missoula, Montana Charlie B’s Bar February
8 2016 Missoula, Montana Oxford Bar February
9 2016 Missoula, Montana Plonk Wine Bar February
10 2016 Helena, Montana Blackfoot River Brewing July
11 2016 Helena, Montana Lewis and Clark Brewery July
12 2016 Grand Teton Natl. Park Jackson Lake Lodge Bar July
13 2016 Jackson, Wyoming Local Restaurant and Bar July
14 2016 Jackson, Wyoming Gather Food and Drink July
15 2016 Jackson, Wyoming Million Dollar Cowboy Bar July
16 2016 Jackson, Wyoming Melvin Brewing July
17 2016 West Yellowstone, Wyoming Wild West Pizzeria and Saloon July
19 2016 Lihue, Kauai Kauai Beer Company May
20 2016 Lihue, Kauai Dukes Bar and Grill May
21 2016  Port Allen, Kauai Kauai Island Brewing Company May
22 2016  Lihue, Kauai Nawiliwili Tavern May
Cheers!

Cheers!

Outside the Horner Pub in Lauderbrauden, Switzerland

Outside the Horner Pub in Lauterbrunnen , Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thebeerchaser’s 2013 Annual Report

Thebeerchaser raising a mug in Amsterdam during our Rick Steves' Best of Europe Tour

Thebeerchaser raising a mug in Amsterdam during our Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour

During the twenty-five + years I worked before retiring in 2011 at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, accountability was “part of the gig,” – the case at most large law firms.  The New Year started with a review of prior year statistics and accomplishments and setting performance goals for the current year.

A Beerchaser tradition at each stop - a photo of the logo - Shelby and Dave Booher at the Solstice Brew Pub in Prineville
A Beerchaser tradition at each stop – a photo of the logo – Shelby and Dave Booher at the Solstice Brew Pub in Prineville

While Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland bars, taverns and pubs, initiated in August of 2011, does not have to worry about billable hours worked, improving client relations or analyzing merger possibilities, the habit of reviewing benchmarks from the past year(s) will take additional time (and more brewskis consumed) to depart my cerebellum.

Slabtown - An important institution in an historic neighborhood

Slabtown – An important institution in an historic neighborhood

————

In this spirit (and in preparation for audit….),  I submit the following “Beerchaser Year in Review,” which includes an interesting graphic display by WordPress, the blogging software used.  For those who want to drill down for more detail (there are after all, several tax lawyers who are followers of this blog), you can click on the link below the graphic.

The final part of this posts includes a listing of establishments visited in the last 2.4 years by year and category i.e. dive bar, neighborhood pub, etc and Thebeerchasers-of-the-Month or Quarter who have been “honored” with this recognition.

Brewmaster and Beerchaser-of-the-Month, Jonny Brose and bartender, Camas, with Thebeerchaser logo

Brewmaster and Beerchaser-of-the-Month, Jonny Brose and bartender, Camas, with Thebeerchaser logo

I was pleased that, in 2013, there were approximately 15,000 views of this blog from 143 different countries – primarily the result of my effort to “tag” the names of places visited, individuals, or topics I cover, so people searching on Google, etc. may decide to check out the link.  This compares with 6,700 views from 96 countries in 2012 – so the audience has grown.

Beer with attitude - er, I mean altitude..!  The James Bond Bar at the summit of the Schilthorn in Switzerland

Beer with attitude – er, I mean altitude..! The James Bond Bar at the summit of the Schilthorn in Switzerland

H. G. Wells warned, “Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture….” and notwithstanding that admonition, the following provides some grist for the number-crunchers – note that I am not including bars visited on our Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour, but do count the wonderful venues visited on the four-day road trip to Eastern Oregon.   

The bar at the Central Pastime. Patty was camera shy but impressed with the city slickers passing through.

The bar at the Central Pastime Tavern in Burns. Patty, the bartender,  was camera shy but impressed with the city slickers passing through.

Thebeerchaser reviewed 20 bars in 2013, compared to 24 in 2012, which equates to one bar every 18.3 days – slightly less ambitious than the 15.2 days in 2012 and the 17.1 during the partial year of 2011 with eight establishments.

This averages out to a non-weighted mean of 16.9 for the three years with a respectable, albeit somewhat mundane, standard deviation of 1.563 days to accomplish the review of 52 establishments.  And remember, many required more than one visit for the due diligence.

Note for the accountants – this figure does not include “accruals,” if  you will, i.e. the two bars and one brewery that were visited in 2013, but not yet reviewed and posted (will occur in January.)

The Sasquatch Brewing Company from our August visit

The Sasquatch Brewing Company from our August visit

Shown below the WordPress report is a compete listing of the watering holes – by category visited since inception.  Of course, bearing in mind the case of the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches, one should be cautious about using averages.

For example, our European Tour of 21-days was a respite from Portland taverns and thus the 2013 work ethic should not be demeaned.

New City Club Executive Director, Sam Adams, at the entrance to the Tug Boat Brewery - right in Downtown PDX

New City Club of Portland Executive Director, Sam Adams, at the entrance to the Tug Boat Brewery – right in Downtown PDX

Here’s an excerpt from the WordPress report:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Twenty Establishments Visited in 2013 *

A nice part of the de'cor at Beer - a bar with an appropriate name

A nice part of the decor at Beer – a bar with an appropriate name

Neighborhood Bars – Sidecar 11, Belmont Inn , Belmont Station, Beer

Beerchaser and Big Buck-Hunter David Dixon at the Belmont Inn lamenting, "If only I had spent more time shooting and less time studying in Palo Alto...."

Beerchaser and Big Buck-Hunter David Dixon at the Belmont Inn lamenting, “If only I had spent more time shooting and less time studying at Stanford….”

Dive Bars – Slammer, The Tanker

Historic or Classic Bars – Slabtown, Horse Brass Pub,

Grand Cafe

Portland appellate lawyer and former Town Hall Moderator, Jack Faust, with Frank Peters - "proprietor and cook" at the Grand Cafe

Portland appellate lawyer and former Town Hall Moderator, Jack Faust, with Frank Peters – “proprietor and cook” at the Grand Cafe

Bars that Defy Classification – Davis Street Tavern, Church

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Tug Boat Brewery, Sasquatch Brewery,

Bars Outside of Portland – Solstice Brew Pub and Horseshoe Tavern (Prineville), Hideout Saloon and Long Branch Saloon (LaGrande), Bull Ridge Brewery and Mt. Emily Ale House (Baker City) and Central Pastime Tavern (Burns)

*  Does not include European Bars

The Horseshoe Tavern in Prineville
The Horseshoe Tavern in Prineville

———————–

Twenty-four Establishments Visited in 2012

Clearing the Air - Tanya, our Waitress and 4 Environmental Lawyers at County Cork

Clearing the Air – Tanya, our Waitress and 4 Environmental Lawyers at County Cork

Neighborhood Bars – County Cork, Muddy Rudder Public House, Hawthorne Hideaway, Laurelthirst Pub

Dive Bars – Ship Tavern, Bar of the Gods, Dixie Tavern       

The Ship Tavern in Multnomah Village - an outstanding dive bar
The Ship Tavern in Multnomah Village – an outstanding dive bar

Historic or Classic Bars – Claudia’s, White Eagle Saloon, Lutz Tavern, Cheerful Tortoise, Mock Crest Tavern, Goose Hollow Inn and The Twilight Room

Beerchasers-of-the-Month, Jim Westwood and John Terry with former Mayor and Goose Hollow owner, Bud Clark

Beerchasers-of-the-Month, Jim Westwood and John Terry with former Mayor and Goose Hollow owner, Bud Clark

Bars that Defy Classification – 1856, Gold Dust Meridian, Bottles, Interurban, Ash Street Saloon

Beerchaser, Chuck Mitchell with bartender, Matt at 1856
Beerchaser, Chuck Mitchell with bartender, Matt at 1856

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Migration Brewery Pub

Beerchaser Dave Booher enjoys a draft and a bucket of fries at the Desdemona in Astoria

Beerchaser Dave Booher enjoys a draft and a bucket of fries at The Desdemona in Astoria

Bars Outside of Portland – Embers Brew House (Joseph), The Desdemona and Wet Monkey Café (Astoria), PourHouse (Port Townsend, WA)         

———————-

Eight Establishments Visited in 2011 (August – December)

The Brooklyn! -The very first stop on Thebeerchaser Tour

The Brooklyn! The very first stop on Thebeerchaser Tour

 Neighborhood Bars – Brooklyn Park Pub, Gladstone Street Pub,

Dive Bars – Yukon Tavern, Joe’s Cellar

The Yukon Tavern - one of the proverbial Dive Bars visited in the first year of The Tour
The Yukon Tavern – one of the proverbial Dive Bars visited in the first year of The Tour

 Historic or Classic Bars – Buffalo Gap Saloon

Bars that Defy Classification – Prost

Getting the Boot from Emily the Bartender at Prost in 2011

Getting the Boot from Emily the Bartender at Prost in 2011

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Amnesia Brew Pub, Coalition Brew Pub

——————–

Beerchaser Honorees

Several times during the year (we fell down slightly on this goal in 2013), Thebeerchaser names a person, group or organization as Beerchaser-of-the-Month or Quarter.  These may or may not have any relevance to the primary goal of this blog, but deserve to be “honored” or recognized in some manner.  They are shown below and we can all be confident that they do not update their resumes to reflect this acclaim.

Lt. Jud Blakely USMC in Viet Nam in 1965

Lt. Jud Blakely USMC in Viet Nam in 1965

2013 – Jud Blakely (Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient in Viet Nam War), Johnny Brose, (OSU Graduate and Brewmaster at Bull Ridge Brewery in Baker City), Jim Westwood (Portland lawyer, civic activist and former captain of the GE College Bowl Team from Portland State College).

Jim Westwood, Coach Padrow and the PSU College Bowl Team

Jim Westwood, Coach Padrow and the PSU College Bowl Team

                 

Former OSU and NFL start, Craig Hanneman on successful Mt. Everest climb in 2012

Former OSU and NFL start, Craig Hanneman on successful Mt. Everest climb in 2012

             2012 – Forrest Green (Musician and consultant), Coach Mike Riley and the 2012 OSU Football Team, Craig Hanneman (retired Willamette Industries executive and former OSU and NFL football player), The Crew of the USS Constitution, Dr. John Walker (Professor of Finance at Portland State University), John Terry (retired history columnist and reporter for The Oregonian) and Dr. Harry Frankfurt (Emeritus Professor of History at Princeton University and author of the book On Bullshit)

Late crime novelist and beer drinker, James Crumley

Late crime novelist and beer drinker, James Crumley

2011 – James Crumley (late crime novelist from Montana), Harold Schlumberg (retired chemical engineer), Phoebe, Emily, Dave and Natasha (bartenders at the bars the Brooklyn Park Pub, Prost, the Twilight Room and the Gladstone Street Pub.

—————-

I appreciate the followers of Thebeerchaser for their comments and suggestions and am especially thankful to Janet – Thebeerchaser’s spouse of 33 years for letting me indulge in this retirement hobby.

Thebeerchaser and Janet in Paris - summer of 2013

Thebeerchaser and Janet in Paris – summer of 2013

While reviewing 52 establishments in 2 years and five months is noteworthy, the fact that Portland has approximately 750 bars, taverns and pubs is somewhat overwhelming and begs the question as to whether retirement should have started while I was in my twenties…..Convey your suggestions regarding future venues in the blog comments.

Happy New Year

Crossing the Rubicon — For a Moretti?? Thebeerchaser Goes International – Part IV

The Glorious history of the Roman Empire - Still visible today.

The Glorious history of the Roman Empire – Still visible today.

In Florence we saw the wonder of Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia and then headed to Rome.  Awed by the history, I tried to envision the perspective of a Roman Legionnaire in 49 BC crossing the Rubicon with Caesar to reassert his power in Rome after the Gallic Wars.

However the metaphor fails since I slept in a comfortable bed the night before, had an outstanding breakfast and traveled in a luxury bus and the only “hardship” endured was doing some of our laundry in the hotel sink!

Moretti - not an option in the 5th century.....

Moretti – unfortunately,  not an option for the Roman Legion…..

Compare this to the Roman infantryman (named “Mules”) who carried as much of his own equipment as possible including his own armor, weapons and 15 days’ rations – about 60 pounds total – and walked in sandals. As comedian, Bill Maher, quipped, “If you think you have it tough, read history books.” (See the end of this post for more details on ancient Roman beer.)

Modern travel superior to foot-power...

Modern travel superior to foot-power…

We toured the Vatican first and were overwhelmed by the immense collection of art and the historic structures.  It compels consideration of the impact of the Catholic Church through the annals of history – even before priests had to admonish their parishioners to turn off their mobile devices at the start of mass.

These range from the positive contributions to art, culture and education to the tales of intrigue and outright decadence by some of the medieval pontiffs.  Stunned by the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel, one can imagine Michelangelo responding to Pope Julius II in 1508 by saying, “You want WHAT painted on the ceiling…?”

This Swiss Guard gig is an honor, but do we get a brewski when our watch is over?

“This Swiss Guard gig is an honor, but do we get a brewski when our watch is over?”

June 2nd is Republic Day –  the Italian equivalent of Independence Day in the US – and Rome was festive.  In St. Peter’s Basilica, we witnessed a half-hour procession of worshippers – all from one village – filing in for a 6:00 PM mass.  Take a look at Thebeerchaser’s video to see just a small fragment of the celebrants filing into St. Peter’s: http://youtu.be/fHcJQVsWv0g,

  The State within a State

The State within a State

——————-

P1010140

The Colosseum in Rome – the center of entertainment and athletics during the reign of Caesar

On the second night in Rome, after an outstanding tour of the Colosseum, we had dinner in a wonderful pub/cafe – Miscellanea.

It is interesting to note that a lot of bars and taverns in Portland, although they have their own internal ambiance, there is a good  chance of passing a Subway Store, a Home Depot or some other strip mall chain upon exiting.  Conversely, immediately adjacent to Miscellanea was the Pantheon.

This incredible temple to the gods of Rome rebuilt in 126 AD, is a circular structure with sixteen massive granite columns and a central opening to the sky, which sources say is still the world’s largest un-reinforced concrete dome.

The granite columns of the Pantheon - this ain't no Home Depot...!

The granite columns of the Pantheon – this ain’t no Home Depot…!

The reviews of Miscellanea were spot on including this one by a Canadian tourist this March:

“We were near the Pantheon when it started to rain and we went into this cafe for shelter and lunch. How lucky were we! The place was very busy and we shared a table with three other diners. Pasta was very good and the house wine was fine.

The atmosphere was good with lots of laughter and chatting and it seemed to be mainly Italians who were eating. At about 2pm the place started to empty as Romans returned to work and left a few tourists to idle away the afternoon with another glass of wine.”          

Maybe we should jog back to the hotel......

Cassius had a “lean and hungry look.” Maybe we should jog back to the hotel……

P1010095

Miscellanea had a great selection of beer and wine plus the food, as you can see by the photo, was amazing – and the portions were large.

It was also interesting to see both the display of beer labels and a chronology of university students who signed the “register” when visiting the establishment – essentially, a listing of colleges and universities all over the world whose students frequented the bar while studying in Rome.

A great selection of beer and wine.
A great selection of beer and wine.

——————

I loved this picture of the 1994 class of Notre Dame which is concrete proof that the University has an academic program of which their football team can be proud:

The Fighting Irish leave South Bend to "study"abroad...
The Fighting Irish leave South Bend to “study”abroad…

Go Irish!!

On the walk back to the hotel, per the tradition, we threw a coin over our left shoulder at the Trevi Fountain – commissioned in 1732 by Pope Clement XIII – the largest in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

Legend has it, that this action ensures a return trip to Rome – plus it helps to fund the water bill for the gushing attraction.

Trevi Fountain - featured in the movies,"Roman Holiday" and Three Coins in a Fountain"

Trevi Fountain – featured in the movies, “Roman Holiday” and Three Coins in a Fountain”

—————-

After we left Rome, we stopped at another majestic cathedral in Central, Italy.

The Cathedral of Orvieto, built in the 14th century is another example of the Pope’s influence – this one, Pope Urban IV.  While the external trappings are impressive, the interior is another magnificent example of Middle Age art.            

Built to commemorate a miracle in 1283.

Orvieto Cathedral – to commemorate a miracle in 1283.

The beautiful stained glass in the Cathedral of Orvieto, Italy

*******

And going back to the Roman legionnaires and the quest for a good brew, a sixteen-year old post by Gregory Smith from the “Brew Your Own (BYO) Magazine” web site, poses an interesting theory to the role of beer in the time of Caesar:  “History tells us that Julius Caesar was stabbed in the back by Brutus in 44 BC. If everyone had just been a little patient, Caesar’s passion for a mug of beer would have killed him off without the mess of the Ides of March stabbing. In fact it was probably the Roman passion for a good beer that killed off the entire Empire.

It wasn’t the actual beer that would have killed the Roman ruler, it was his lead-laced beer mug. Roman brewers used a variety of earthenware containers to store and serve their beer. The pottery and glaze were lead based. The risk to the beer drinker would increase based on the amount of beer consumed or the age of the brew.

If Brutus had waited a little longer, Julius Caesar could have literally drunk himself to death by lead poisoning, which was very common in the years of the Roman Empire (from 753 BC until around 476 AD)

Beer could have caused the fall of the Roman Empire because it probably led many Romans to settle in lands far away from Rome, leaving the heart of the empire unprotected against ravaging barbarians.”

And now on to the Cinque Terra on the Mediterranean coast of Italy and the Swiss Alps!  Then, before the end of the Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour, we head back to Portland for a review of one of Portland’s classic bars – The Slammer.  And don’t forget to try a Birra Moretti.  You can get it in the USA and 39 other countries.

Thebeerchaser Goes International – Through Bavaria to Venice and Beyond….

A draft Moretti at the Devils Forest Pub in Venice

A draft Moretti at the Devils Forest Pub in Venice

Back to the Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour after the first two posts took us from Amsterdam through the Rhine Valley in Germany (according to Wikipedia, a 2010 report showed Germany ranked second in the world for per-capita beer consumption) and Austria.  A highlight was traveling through Bavaria – the southeastern-most state of Germany, which is known for its 40 types of beer and purportedly over 4,000 brands of Bavarian beer.

So many options and so little time....!

So many options and so little time….!

Bitburger – an excellent German Bier

The Autobahn is an outstanding method of traveling and the scenery, mostly rural, is stunning.

Highlights included two historic castles – both abodes of Mad King Ludwig II.  This is not the name of a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, but a real Bavarian king, whose taste for these massive structures helped lead to his ultimate demise in 1898, even though they were not built using public funds, but from the king’s personal fortune and borrowing.

A King's home is his castle...

Neushwanstein – A King’s home is his castle – er, castleS, that is……

Construction of Neushwanstein – the largest castle – started in 1868 as a “retreat” and tribute to composer Richard Wagner.

Perhaps Ludwig’s childhood castle home –  built in 1833 by his father called Hohenschwangau, in the Bavarian village of the same name, wasn’t sufficient because the “retreat” – only a few hundred yards away was started when Ludwig was 35 and living in the fortress below.

The original castle - Nechwas

The original castle – Hohenschwangau – A “stone throw” from Neushwasnstein – the King’s retreat castle.

.

Our nine days in Italy commenced  in Venice – the Floating City, which is built on pilings and actually comprises over 100 islands separated by the legendary canals and connected by bridges.

American humorist, New York Times columnist and actor, Robert Benchley, upon arriving in Venice was reported to have sent a cable to his editor stating, “Streets full of water. Please advise.”

Venice was marvelous and besides the wonderful history, the food and the pubs – not just cafe’s, but real bars – were notable.                          

By the Palace of Tears in Venice

Near the Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Streets full of water - Please advise.....!

Streets full of water – Please advise…..!

Although we did not eat there, based on its ambiance, the staff and the beer, my favorite bar was The Devils Forest Pub – right near the famous Rialto Bridge.

Trip Advisor reviews were good including this one from a visitor from the United Kingdom in April:

This pub was fantastic with Italian staff that also spoke English, the food was delicious and great value for money and the décor is fab like an old English pub well worth a visit.” 

Devil's Forest bartender with our crew.

Devil’s Forest bartender with our crew.

This one from July, 2013 echoes our experience:

“Great pub just a few steps away from Rialto off a side street. Very friendly staff and a great crowd there. Good beers on tap, we did not eat there, but the place was packed with a good fun crowd (was there during Spain/Brazil match). Would definitely go back if I return.”

A true pub atmosphere.

A true pub atmosphere at The Devil’s Forest

—————–

After a long day of sightseeing    (and shopping) we wanted to sample some of the Venetian food so we took a boat to the other side of the City.  We were successful in this goal as can be seen from the photo below:

Everyone had wine except Thebeerchaser who had a Moretti Bier.
Pizza and Moretti beer for dinner

——

———————

And while in Venice, I got to see a few more bars which looked good from very cursory visits and on-line reviews – they are on my list to explore when we return.  These included:

Bar A1 10 Savi:   (see picture below)

Bar A1 10 Savi - Another tavern near the Rialto Bridge

Bar A1 10 Savi – Another tavern near the Rialto Bridge

———————–

Bacaro Jazz made me chuckle because the décor and stated tradition surrounding it reminded me of one of my early Portland dive taverns – The Dixie Tavern in Old Town.  Take a look at the July, 2011 review from Yelp of the Venice bar and the pictures I took of both establishments:

The International Symbol of Support....

Bacaro Jazz Bar  – The international symbol of support on the ceiling……

“Bacaro Jazz has a fun atmosphere and is perfectly placed by the Rialto Bridge to bring in all the tourists and backpackers.   Right when you walk in the first thing that grabs your attention besides the long bar counter is all the Bras – yes Bras hanging on the ceiling.” 

——————

“The tradition is all the women walking in who donate their bra to the collection tend to get a free drink and a rise from the
crowd.  The Bar has every drink you can think so if your intent is to walk in sober and  leave the same way forget about it.”             

   

Portland's Dixie Tavern - A New Meaning to "In the Cups"

Portland’s Dixie Tavern – A New Meaning to “In the Cups”

Each year at the Dixie, they make a donation to the Susan Kommen Foundation for each of the ceiling decorations.

—————–

Perhaps it is an abrupt transition, but I cannot leave this post without showing another example of a church we passed in Austria – the steeples were always great landmarks in every city and this one was no exception.

A landmark in every city in Germany, Austria and Italy!

A landmark in every city in Germany, Austria and Italy!

And finally, one of the most outstanding cathedrals and structures on the entire trip – the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of St. Mark – in Venice.  We trudged up the 373 steps to the top of this architectural and engineering masterpiece for a wonderful view of Venice and the surrounding countryside.

The interior of St. Mark's

The interior of St. Mark’s

The basilica is the final resting place of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice.  Construction started in the 9th century and it is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in the world.  The mosaics (about 40,000 square feet) and bronze sculptures are remarkable. It has five domes laid out in the form of a Roman cross.

One can only imagine the labor of the peasants including stories of holding back food and water rations of the workers as the upper dome, which rises 141 feet, was being completed so they would not lose the significant time it took to leave their posts for biological functions.  The Basilica was consecrated in 1094 although it was not completed until 1674.

One of the best examples of Byzantine architecture

One of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in the world.

On to Rome and the Cinque’ Terra on the Mediterranean coast.